Early in morning, Ballal, a six-year-old boy, bought a couple flowers from a shop. He kept them hidden, and did not show his mother. They had been invited to a ceremony which was to take place in the Women’s Affairs Department.
Ballal gave his mother his gift of flowers in front of many women, and got a kiss from his mother. The scene was beautiful for all the mothers who, along with the deputy governor and other leading local officials, attended the ceremony in Farah’s Women’s Affairs Department.
But the celebration of International Mother’s Day in Afghanistan was marred by a fatal attack against a young midwife on her way to work in Khurmaliq, a village in the west of the restive province, and government officials said Taliban militants were responsible.
Women in the province condemned the attack and demanded increased government attention to women’s security in Farah
At the Mother’s Day ceremony, Ballal said: “I had saved money to buy a gift for my mom, because it is her day. It was very important to me to do something for my mother on this day. I, and all people, know mothers are the ones who make the community good or bad. I love my mother, and all mothers.”
“Mothers are the most important part of our community,” said Mohammad Unis Rasuli, deputy governor. “They are fundamental. We appreciate Afghan mothers who have raised very brave children, such as AhmadShah Baba, Mallaia Mewand, and many other brave women. Mothers can lead the family toward good situations or bad situations.”
Liloma Sadiqi, director of Women’s Affairs Department in Farah Province, said, “With the celebration of mother’s day, we want to show the mother’s presence in our country. We want to show all mothers that they have special day. It is an opportunity for them to express their problems and find positive solutions.”
The midwife who was killed was identified as Narges, and she worked in a local health clinic. “She was heading to the clinic to visit a patient when the Taliban opened fire and killed her on the spot,” said Sadiqi. “No groups have yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Afghan government officials believe it is the work of Taliban militants.” She was accompanied by her husband at the time of the shooting.
“This was a midwife who worked for women. She was not doing a bad thing, or something against Islam or the Quran,” said Sajada, an official in the first district. “She helped mothers and children, but cruel Taliban have killed her. The government should provide security for women who work in such conditions, since such incidents will discourage the women to work outside the home.”